- Two recent reports point out the breakdown between IT and business when it comes to employee empowerment and the role of IT.
- Nearly 90% of stakeholders say IT plays a key role in business initiatives, but only 66% of business technology decision-makers "think of IT as a value-creator."according to a Mendix survey of more than 1,000 business and IT stakeholders in medium- to large-sized companies globally.
- More than half of white-collar employees, 53%, say their company's digital transformation efforts are more geared to growing profits than workforce empowerment, according to a Zensar survey of more than 1,000 white collar and upper level employees.
The disconnect between IT and overall business has long plagued CIOs and their workforce. Shrugging off the cost-center perception IT acquired throughout the years is challenging.
The impact, however, extends beyond unfulfilled IT support tickets. It has the potential to influence overall IT morale.
Nearly all of Mendix's survey's respondents, 96%, say their business feels the impact when IT needs are unmet. IT then shoulders the burden of the failure, resulting in lower morale.
Almost one-third of Zensar's respondents said their companies view new technologies with a "wait and see approach," slowly rolling out changes. But Mendix found half of IT respondents say their budgets are too limited to deliver "solutions at scale," making it hard to roll out quick change.
Because of the disconnect between IT and business, the division is widened by unmet IT requests and the belief that employers are too preoccupied with "incremental expenses" to invest in new technologies, according to Zensar.
"When organizations realize that the digital mandate is an opportunity for all functions to come together and drive organization-wide change, then in more cases than not, the mandate will be sweeping and broad enough to cover all aspects," Sandeep Kishore, CEO of software provider Zensar, told CIO Dive in an email.
But the delay in completed projects is largely due to the "wait and see" approach companies use when undergoing digital initiatives. It's a "conservative and risk-averse strategy," said Kishore.
"It has worked for them in the past, so they are naturally circumspect about new-fangled tech wizardry," he said. The uncertainty around the return on investment impacts how often and how willing a business is to invest in risky technologies.
The safety net of slow adoption is part of IT's larger challenge — the bulk of its resources go toward supporting existing systems and architectures, not transformation, according to the survey.
"Unfortunately, experience shows us that digital transformation is not about half measures. It is an all-in kind of a scenario," said Kishore.
Clarification: This story has been updated to include survey results from Zensar.